What can we do with this awkward space?

PipdogApril 15, 2014

When we bought our house, it had an indoor grill from the 1950s in it. Even though it was a conversation piece, it was clunky and didn't work, so we removed it.

Now we're left with an awkward open space in the wall in our main living area. The area is near where we will have our dining room and open to the living room and kitchen.

This space has stumped us. Some thoughts:

1) leave as is and put a wine fridge in there. There's electrical and gas in there
2) build a wine rack in there
3) re-insert the grill (we still have it, but I don't like that idea as we won't use it and it's not that attractive)

During our kitchen remodel, we are going to have cabinets/shelving built on the blank white wall. The white piece of wood near the top needs to stay since it is hiding ductwork and chimney stuff.

But we've thought about putting false cabinet doors over the white piece of wood so it looks more functional and less like a random piece of white wood in between stone blocks. Right now it looks strange to me. The chimney is in between colors -- it is white because we can't figure out what to do with it.

GW'ers, any good ideas on what we can do with this space? We've been stuck in indecision land for months, so I welcome any ideas or thoughts.



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ppbenn

Since the fireplace is next to it, I'd stack firewood in the bottom, ends facing out, up to cover the piping. Above I'd put a shelf and it could be a vintage turntable, bar area, books etc.
Definitly add doors above or else killer artwork. That's a cool space.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:59PM
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teacats

Ooooo ... a vote for a wine fridge -- will look amazing when you do finish the adjoining wall space with storage ....

To blend in that necessary white panel -- perhaps consider adding a thick (to match the depth of the existing brick) white shelf across the open part -- and match the length of the that white panel ..... then add more closed storage below that ....

That new very thick white shelf could hide additional lighting under it -- which would shine down on the closed storage area ....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:59PM
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tibbrix

I thought of the firewood as well, but I think they're fireplace is gas, right? So it'll look contrived if you put firewood there.

Why not just a chest of drawers where you can keep throw blankets and such? Seems weird to me to have a wine rack in the living room. On the other hand, maybe closer is better! Lol.

Another thought, would it be wise to have a wine rack so near heat? Stone heats up, remember.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

A/V equipment? Be a great place for a tv above and components below...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:37PM
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ineffablespace

It's actually not the worst place for a TV set if you need a spot.

I would do board and batten doors and detailing over it, to blend with the fireplace.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:00PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I'm not sure Id want to stare at a wine fridge in the LR? And you would still be left with a gap above and or on the sides. My inclination is to take out as much as you can, then drywall and or panel what is left.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:13PM
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jterrilynn

How much of that white upper part can come out? I think if you could add shelves and lighting it would be a great place to show off an art collection or cool blown glass pieces .

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:38PM
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crl_

I think I'd try to convert it to built in storage. If the top can be replaced or covered by faux doors, then the bottom could be functional doors or better yet drawers.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:55PM
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allison0704

Make the white/top match the FP. You could even make hidden doors on the bottom section (for storage shelves) that extend the matching section to the floor.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:40PM
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jterrilynn

Cover the whole thing like the upper fireplace but make it a secret door with a safe behind it. Just like on TV lol!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:54PM
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louislinus

I also think you should box it in and make it a blanket/game closet.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:54PM
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tibbrix

I'd just slide something like this right in there, if the dimensions work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brimnes 4-drawer dresser

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Commission a piece of art glass that can be back lit and fill the space...add a lot of light and color to the room.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:32PM
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cold_weather_is_evil

It looks like that whole enclosure/fireplace/wall is one item, and it's not very good looking. Put in something better to replace the whole shebang, including that chimney chase that looks like an afterthought. Once you remove the negativity of the existing misfit space, possibilities will jump up and salute. It's an opportunity disguised as a problem.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:50PM
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outsideplaying_gw

Sort of what cold-weather said...have you thought about mounting a TV above the fireplace? If so, then I would completely re-think the board and batten above the fp and have someone design a surround for the whole shebang, to include a beautiful set of doors for a TV above the fireplace. Then mirror that in that white space above your blank grill space (yeah, I know it would be fake, but it would still look better). Put the AV equipment (DVR, etc) in shelves and matching doors in the former grill space. Or if you could hide a wine fridge in there (behind the cool doors since you have the electric for it). I'd remove and cap off the gas lines somehow and get them out of the way if you aren't using them. At any rate, some decorative doors, top and bottom for that space would then blend in better with your built-in shelving. If you have engaged someone to built your shelves, perhaps they can come up with a design for you. Check houzz for some ideas for doors for TVs above a fireplace.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:55AM
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athomeinvagw

Is there a way to knock back the left block wall and then make the entire length covered with full height doors? The only problem may be that the fireplace becomes too tucked away in a corner. Ideally, I would want to open up the space as much as possible but there does not appear to be an easy way to do that.

As for the fireplace hood, it looked so nice when it was dark gray but now that the ceiling is light it might look odd if it is too dark. Maybe patinaed copper sheeting would look nice on it. I almost think that the block walls would look better painted at this point. Do you have a current picture of the other side of the fireplace?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:34AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

AV equipment doesn't need much space anymore. I would avoid do anything elaborate that relates to AV as the technology changes so quickly and everything is moving toward smaller, distributed solutions.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:48AM
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roarah

I might remove the top, which I assume might hide a vent, and have it all brick and than add a small bench with a cool midcentury fabric cushion between the brick walls for a cozy seat by the fire. Not sure what is under the hood and if my plan is even feasible, just a thought.

Your home has such great light I can not wait to see your reveal!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:56AM
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ineffablespace

I think the block needs to stay there for reiteration of the material and the form.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Pipdog

thanks for the input! One thing I forgot to mention is that this space is right next to where our dining table will be. The house has a loft aesthetic and this is one open, multifunctional space.

outsideplaying and ineffablespace: our TV is on the other wall where the seating area is, away from the dining area.

Annie, we hid our A/V equipment in a closet. Our little ones like to press all the buttons so we have to keep it out of their reach. Thanks for the art recommendations -- we're putting some artwork on the white blank wall where the shelves/cabinets will go.

athomeinva, i agree the fireplace looks weird white. We considered a metallic color but are stumped by the color of the blocks. They are pink-ish and throwing everything off. I don't particularly have an issue with painting them, but what color would we paint them? Also, the blocks are present throughout the house, so if we painted them here would we paint them elsewhere? here they are on the other side of the wall:

mtnredux, fter looking at dimensions, I think I've scrapped the wine fridge idea -- I can't seem to find one that would fit that space so it would likely look awkward unless we built it in. And it would be awkward to reach in behind the dining room table to open the fridge.

ppbenn, i like the wood idea, except Tibbrix is right - it's a gas fireplace.

tibbrix, it's still possible that we could put cabinets there and make it a wet bar, but my issue is that the dining room table would mostly block access to it, so it doesn't seem like it's suited for that space.

roarah and jterritlynn, we're meeting with another contractor this week to see what is involved with demo-ing the stone blocks. The white piece of wood is hiding some serious ductwork that goes into the chimney so I'm not sure if we can even take it out. It looks pretty substantial.

This is the first open concept house I've lived in for many years and it's a lot more challenging to space plan than I remembered!

thanks for the suggestions and sorry I haven't respond to all individually -- nursing a sick kiddo today :(

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:43PM
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ineffablespace

The similar sort of fireplace in Wrigh-ish, Eichleresque local country club was copper leafed on the upper chimney breast,and it slowly spotted green, but it was concrete or stucco.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:51PM
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tibbrix

Wow, what an amazing house!

Sorry to hear of the sick kiddo.

Not to push my own idea, but since the dining table will be going there, I think it is in fact a good idea to put drawers in that space to hold table cloths, napkins, candle holders, etc. It's stuff you'd have to take out only periodically, so the table wouldn't be a hindrance, but it's also storage nearby for the dining area.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:52PM
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athomeinvagw

Yes, I would probably paint all of the block and, at this point, the rest of the wood too. I liked the wood and block in the house in its more original state but it does not look great with the vast amounts of white and the floor.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Arapaho

Haven't read thru all the posts so maybe someone else suggested this - I would turn it into a closet using a door to match what's in the rest of the house. I have a closet in my DR and it comes in handy. If the blocks are used elsewhere in the house I wouldn't paint them here.

This post was edited by arapaho on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 15:55

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:53PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I'm sorry, what was the uhh ... question, again? Bricks or something. All I can see is the view. : )

You can put a garbage can there. Or a medical marijuana plant. No one is looking that direction! : )

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:32PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Hahaha mtnrd!

Your house is period, I'd be reluctant to mess with the bricks at all. If it had less style, I wouldn't care, but it is so much what it us that that needs to be respected, IMO....

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I got it! I got it! Inspired by the fabulous view and wanting something restful in the DR, put in a waterfall wall!!! It would be gorgeous.

You can get them in glass, acrylic, copper, steel, colors, all kinds of things. And you can set them up to be just the upper part of the wall with a buffet or credenza in front. You can get them to be rain, bubbles or water fall....

And how cool is that, fire and water....

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom water fall walls

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:59PM
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outsideplaying_gw

Mtn, you crack me up! Wow what a view, and if that view is repeated in the dining room, you should stay simple. That waterfall idea is absolutely gorgeous. Even one waterfall coming down would be lovely. Simplifying the boards above the fireplace with a flat finish would also be better for showing off the simplicity and hanging some beautiful artwork. It doesn't even have to be canvas...maybe a large metal sculpture on one side.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:50AM
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tibbrix

Annie's waterfall idea is awesome.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:59AM
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jterrilynn

Ohhh a waterfall with that view would really be the ultimate! I so love your house!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Pipdog

haha, mtn! I just laughed so hard I woke up the dog.

that waterfall idea is super cool Annie! I will look into it, thanks!

thanks, jterrilynn :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:09PM
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tibbrix

lol mtn. A medical marijuana plant is a great idea! It'd pay for that beautiful waterfallâ¦and the houseâ¦and the kids' educationsâ¦and

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:13PM
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